Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – December 2014

Seed pods of Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Seed pods of Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle)

Today is the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Arrival time in pbmGarden is 6:03 PM EST.

Tomorrow is Garden Bloggers Foliage Day (GBFD), hosted by Christina at Garden of the Hesperides. In anticipation I walked around the garden with the camera in late morning, when the air was quite chilly and the sky, quite gray and dull. Later the sun peeked out.

The Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) lost its leaves long ago but the seed pods still provide a bit of interest and an interesting coloration on the bark of the Crape Myrtle’s trunk set my imagination to wandering.

Intriguing mark on trunk of Crape Myrtle.

Intriguing mark on trunk of Crape Myrtle.

The screening hedge of five Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ has grown considerably this year. I like the height, but not the shape of these trees and how to prune them properly is a mystery to me.

Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Point' (Blue Point Juniper)

Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper)

Last December the junipers were decorated for the holiday season, but not yet this year. This picture is from last year’s GBFD post.

Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Point' (Blue Point Juniper)

Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’ (Blue Point Juniper).  Lavender is in left foreground.

The small Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ in the Western border continues holding on to its rich fall color.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'  (Lil' Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ (Lil’ Ruby dwarf Oakleaf Hydrangea)

Some of the gardenia hedge is not doing well along the Western border where many bushes never recovered from the deep cold last winter. A couple are looking fairly green, but others look miserable. I read it is possible to cut them to the ground to rejuvenate them and may give it a try for those worst affected.

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

This Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ is doing well.

Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

This Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ needs rejuvenation.

In the meditation circle many Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue) have volunteered. I keep moving them around into different areas of the garden. The foliage stays colorful and healthy through most of the winter.

Penstemon digitalis 'Husker Red' (Beardtongue)

Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)

When we moved here the front foundation shrubs were underplanted with a row of Liriope spicata (creeping lilyturf). This spreads by runners and is a difficult plant to remove or even contain but it does have attractive fruit this year.

Liriope spicata (creeping lilyturf)

Liriope spicata (creeping lilyturf)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) is nearing the end of its usefulness for 2014. I really like its early green florets and enjoy watching it move from pink to dark red. I have left its browned flowers alongs with many other plants for birds.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude)

This sedum maintains a brighter, more colorful presence in the garden. It is Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (Angelina Stonecrop). Most of it is yellow, but some tips are bright pink.

Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (Angelina Stonecrop)

Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (Angelina Stonecrop)

On the north side of the house this camellia hybrid is full of buds. An unusually cold winter kept this from blooming last year so I hope 2015 will be kinder to it. Its green leathery leaves are glossy and attractive year-round.

Camellia x 'Coral Delight'

Camellia x ‘Coral Delight’

Thanks to Christina for hosting the GBFD review. Visit her to see what foliage she and others are featuring this month.

19 thoughts on “Garden Bloggers Foliage Day – December 2014

  1. Cathy

    I love that close-up of the stonecrop Susie. Our eyes are drawn to colour at this time of year and that means I also look closer to the ground for stonecrops or mosses. Juniper grows wild on the chalky hillsides around us and creates quite an unusual “look”, for which this region is well-known. There are so many different kinds though. It is used in hedges sometimes, so clearly withstands being pruned in spring. The berries are a traditional ingredient (in small doses) in sauerkraut!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      The stonecrop has been a useful ground cover (it spilled over from a pot and keeps going, but not in an invasive way) and I do appreciate any little bit of color at this time of year. Well, maybe I should be brave and give those junipers a good trim this spring. When I first planted them another blogger (and landscaper) mentioned this variety does best with “judicious” pruning, but I have yet to figure out what that means.

      Reply
  2. Christina

    Thanks for joining GBFD so consistantly over the year Susie. Penstemon Huskers red has made many appearances i think, it is such a good value plant, it used tongrow it in my garden in England. The bark of many trees is very beautiful and i think we often don’t value it enough.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      And thank you for hosting the GBFD each month. I do like the Huskers Red very much, but would like to add some others. I’ve seen a lot of interesting ones this year. The crape myrtle has lovely bark, but it has been difficult to get a good photo that does it justice.

      Reply
  3. Tina

    Lovely photos! We (in Austin) grow several of the plants you profiled. One of the things I love about reading other garden bloggers is that so often, someone will showcase something that I overlook and I’m just wowed. Such is the case especially with the photo of the liriope fruits. That photo really captures their beauty and it’s something that I ignore in my gardens. Thanks for the reminder to appreciate that plant!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Tina. Glad you enjoyed the liriope berries. Some years they barely show up at all, but this was their year I guess. I prefer the Liriope muscari to this kind, because muscari clumps, rather than running wild. Look forward to seeing more of your Austin garden.

      Reply
  4. P&B

    There are still plenty of colors in your garden. Envy! The mark on Crape Myrtle really looks like a green ostrich (the first thing that came to my mind anyway). The sedum ‘Angelina’ looks so lovely.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I’m beginning to understand the value of sedum. Another blogger recently identified this one for me as Angelina. It was in a container of mixed sedum and is one of the best growers.

      Reply
  5. bittster

    Beautiful colors and form. Things still look so fresh and pristine and have the feel of autumn still, and not yet winter.
    I think that might just be the shape of your junipers. I like it, and perhaps as they continue to spread out and fill in they will grow on you, but if it’s not what you want well then it’s just not what you want!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      It was nice to find a few things that looked fresh the other day, but they’re all probably waterlogged. We have crazy weather here. It’s 64 F. tonight at 9:20, but was really cold and very rainy the last few days. I believe you’re right, that is the shape of the juniper. It reminds me of a kid with a cowlick–just want to slick it back down, but it won’t stay.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s